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In New England you might as well embrace and enjoy the snow. Whether the kids have a solid case of cabin fever, or you’re looking to spend a getaway weekend on the slopes, we have a few family-friendly New England ski recommendations so you don’t have to head west to the Rockies. These New England ski resorts and attractions serve both the beginner and the daredevil skiers, so no need to miss out on the action — unless of course, you’d rather just hang around at the lodge, by the fire, nursing a steaming cup of hot cocoa.
Jiminy Peak in Hancock
When they say kids rule, they really do mean it here at Jiminy Peak. Special day camps for children include a full day of instruction and lift ticket with prices that max out at $152 ($100 less than at mega-resorts out west). Lunch and hot chocolate are part of the package, too. If you have multiple kids, or need multiple days of ski school, a six-pack of lessons that can be shared among kids can be purchased for $759 ($126 per day).
Children 6 and older who are new to the skiing and snowboarding game can get two-hour lessons, which include rental equipment and a lift ticket. Special terrain-based learning is part of Discover Zone for those just learning to ski. Being out in the cold not really your thing? An indoor Cub’s Den offers baby-sitting for children 6 months and older and 3-year-olds spend half their lesson day in the Den. Snowshoeing, a Mountain Coaster and s’mores make the mountain a surefire hit.
Use your Hilton Honors points to stay at Hampton Inn & Suites Berkshires–Lenox, which offers children’s activities, complimentary breakfast and family stay packages (often around 28k to 45k Hilton points per night). At the Marriott Courtyard Lenox Berkshires, you can use your Marriott Rewards points (35k per night) or a 35k certificate. This hotel is a 30-minute drive to the mountain and offers family ski packages. The Berkshire Plaza in Pittsfield, from 25k IHG Rewards Club points per night, also offers ski packages and is a 20-minute ride away from the action.
Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods
Three words: kids’ snowmobile park. Which kids can resist the fun of zipping around on a snowmobile on tracks made especially for them (must be at least 44 inches)? You’ll find it here in one of the Granite State’s most popular ski resorts — Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods — which also houses an expansive cross-country skiing area. Also a big hit with families: a dedicated sculpted snow tubing run ($12 per hour). Special indoor entertainment for children and a variety of lessons for kids of all ages and adults make Bretton Woods a popular draw. Those with little kids should check out the snow and play lessons that combine time in the nursery with a one-hour lesson and lunch.
Don’t miss a sleigh ride, which takes the magic of the season to a whole new level.
The Omni Mount Washington Resort offers family rooms and suites. About a 20-minute drive away, the Best Western White Mountain Inn, eligible for the Best Western rewards program, offers complimentary breakfast and ski packages. Rooms are often around 20k points per night.
Sunday River, Newry
Maine’s Sunday River offers more than just skiing and ski lessons. They have: ice skating, night skiing, tubing, snowshoeing, dogsledding, sugaring house (the season starts in February) and Black Diamond Entertainment shows with magicians, jugglers and music.
The resort boasts of a whopping eight mountain peaks, each with a distinctive flavor. After all that day-and-night fun, mom and dad might even want to melt their cares away in the resort spa. The resort has charming lodging options such as the Grand Summit Hotel and Jordan Hotel. If you want to cash in on rewards, use 20k to 40k Hilton Honors points per night at the Hampton Inn in Oxford, which offers complimentary breakfast and is about a 50-minute drive away.
Stowe Mountain Resort, Stowe
Composed of Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak, this family-friendly ski resort offers a variety of adventures for children of all ages. Preschoolers can check out the Pathfinder Ski Adventure program and slightly older children aged 5–6 can enroll in the Trailblazer Ski/Snowboard equivalent. Half-day Big-Easy lessons are also available. Be aware that lesson prices here creep into the same territory as the big mountains out west, as a day of ski school can cost around $250 on peak days.
Families can drop off little kids at the Cub Care child care program ($180 to $190 per day), which includes arts and crafts, songs and quiet time. Round off winter fun with rock climbing and ice skating. Stowe has a rotating calendar of fun family events, so be sure to check the latest before you go.
Stowe Mountain Lodge is expected to become bookable with World of Hyatt points in 2019, so that will be a great way to use rewards and stay in the middle of the snowy action. The Fairfield Inn & Suites Waterbury Stowe is a 30-minute drive away and is a Category 5 property (35k points per night) under the Marriott Rewards points program. This means you can use the annual award night that comes with several Marriott cobranded credit cards.
Yawgoo Valley, Exeter
Who can resist the “unplug and play”-themed family nights? Families can indulge in bonding time every Saturday evening in February with three-packs of tickets available for just $60. Yawgoo offers snow sports programs for various abilities and ages all season long with lift tickets starting at just $24. Ask about February vacation week specials and savings packs for families. Want to take a break from skiing? Go snow tubing! First-timer lesson packages are just $39, which is a steal to get your family started on the mountain.
Cash in your IHG Rewards Club points at the Holiday Inn in South Kingstown (40k points per night), which is just 10 minutes away. You could even use an annual award night available with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. Fifteen minutes away, the Hampton Inn South Kingstown-Newport Area often costs 28k to 40k Hilton Honors points per night. The hotel offers free hot breakfast for all guests, so you can start your day quickly and without extra expense.
Mohawk Mountain, Cornwall
Yeti Day, Pirate Day, Super Bowl Sunday — all kinds of fun activities await families at this Connecticut ski attraction where parents can accompany tots on lessons with prices starting at just $52 (unheard of at major resorts out west). Children ages 5–13 can try a group ski or snowboarding lesson to brush up rusty skills or learn new ones. Main Lodge on the mountain offers cafeteria-style dining for hungry outdoor enthusiasts. Fourth-graders who are residents of the Nutmeg State are in luck: They bag two free lift tickets.
Area lodging options include Rodeway Inn & Suites, starting at 8,000 points per nights in Choice Hotels’ rewards program. A 20-minute drive from the mountain, the hotel offers an indoor heated pool and free continental breakfast. Or you can use 15k Wyndham Rewards points per night to stay at the Days Inn by Wyndham at Torrington, which is also 20 minutes away and offers free breakfast.
Don’t have enough points to cover the hotel but are still looking to stretch your ski getaway budget? Try using flexible points from cards such as the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card or Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard to cover the costs of travel.
Need more resources to plan your ski trip?
- The Best US Ski Resorts for Families in North America
- Top 10 Ski Schools for Kids
- Planning Your Ski Trip With Points and Miles
- How to Pack for a Ski Trip
- Best US Ski Towns
Featured image by Cavan Images / Getty Images
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